Reborn As A Flier

From NAFI's Chair

Reborn As A Flier

I had to look this up the other day. A normal human pregnancy lasts 280 days, or 40 weeks. In other words, roughly the classic nine months (9.3 to be precise) we talk about when a woman announces to her family and friends that a baby is on the way. Of course, I've always know that it's roughly nine months, but I wasn't sure about the number of days.

So, why my sudden interest in this subject? There's no one close to me that has a child on the way. And, why, you might ask, am I writing about this? I once did solo a young lady who was about six months along, but that's another story.

You may remember just before AirVenture 2018, I wrote about having pulmonary embolisms. In other words, there were clots in the blood vessels in my lungs. I was very fortunate that it was diagnosed as non-congenital, with no damage to my cardiovascular system. That was on July 16, 2018. The doctors, after much hesitation, allowed me to go to Oshkosh, and restricted me from flying of any kind, for 90 days. Later, in the fall, after a follow-up visit, they started letting me fly on airliners, and finally, in February, dropped all restrictions.

In early March, I saw my aviation medical examiner. I provided all the appropriate records and a letter from my pulmonologist stating that I was fine, except that he was keeping me on a very low dose blood thinner as a preventative. Then, on April 4, while I was enjoying lunch at a Sun 'n Fun reception AOPA was hosting, I happened to look myself up in the Airmen's Registry. Well, to be honest, I'd been checking every day since my AME appointment. To the surprise of John and Martha King, with whom I was sitting, I started doing a little happy dance in my chair. There it was - a Third Class Medical had been issued to me. It came 262 days after my medical event. Or, to put it another way, on the short side of a normal pregnancy.

And, so, as I promised you when I first reported this to you, that's the progress of getting my medical back. I followed doctor's orders to the letter, took care of myself, listened to my wife, and didn't push. A little patience and diligence and now I can instruct and fly with no restrictions. Most important of all, and why I relate this, by implication, to being born: it's made me realize again how fortunate I am, in fact, we all are, to be able to fly and share our passion with others. Take if from me, never, ever take that for granted.

Bob Meder,
NAFI Board Chair
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